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Center of Mass Challenge
Mar 19, Mar 18, Our students had a blast and learnt a lot. Russell is a brilliant presenter. I got a lot out of the PD session. It was really great to get so many ideas and see the experiments first hand. I love the online resources and intend implementing some of the STEM experiments in my program.
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By Jeremy Johnson. One of my favorite tricks is to get my kids up on their feet, doing science instead of reading about it. I challenge my students to perform a series of seemingly simple physical tests, described below. Lift a chair? Raise your leg? Pick up a quarter? No problem!
You maintain your balance by keeping your centre of gravity over your support base your feet. If there is a major change in this equilibrium, you fall over. In routine day-to-day activities, your body maintains balance with little adjustments that are so automatic that you don't notice them. In the following series of activities, students reflect on these adjustments that make balancing their bodies possible. When you're standing straight, your centre of gravity is somewhere around your belly button. When you change your body's shape, you shift the centre of gravity a bit. For example, when you stick a leg out in front of you, your centre of gravity shifts forward. To keep your centre of gravity over your other foot, you lean your upper body or arms in the opposite direction to the leg. While bent over and holding on to your toes, you can jump backwards from one end of the room to the other, but you won't be able to do a single jump forward. When we jump, we first shift our centre of gravity in the direction we want to jump, and then we move our support base i.